Ribenack/Merritt Camp

Tobin Harbor

Merritt Cottage: [NVIC: 50-1147], ISRO Archives.


lbert Ribenack and his two brothers, Henry and Edward, owned and operated the Hotel Lenox on the corner of Sixth Avenue West and Superior Street in Duluth, Minnesota. While little is known about Ribenack and his time spent on Isle Royale, Albert was a close friend of Alfred Merritt of Merritt Lane. After Ribenack stopped coming out to the island, Merritt acquired his Tobin Harbor property.

Glen, Alice, Wallace, Thelma, and Merna Merritt held extensive lands (passed from Alfred and Jane Merritt) in Isle Royale National Park in 1935 when land acquisition began. They sold three parcels to the Isle Royale Commission for a total of $2,453.95. On a forth parcel (Tract 69 - near Scoville Point in Tobin Harbor) they were paid $175.24 and a life lease for all five Merritts. Mr. Harper of the Isle Royale Commission advanced some money to help clear the title. He was subsequently repaid.

Glen Merritt died in 1991, his wife Alice died in 1998 and Wallace "Bud" Merritt died in 2002. Grant J. Merritt (only 25 when he first asked to be added to the lease) and his sister Mary Merritt Schiebe are the only children eligible for special use permits.


The Merritt Camp has high/medium integrity and retains a cottage, three guest cottages, privy, woodshed, and dock. The camp originally included a boat house, which is no longer extant. All surviving buildings are in good condition, and have high integrity in all areas, except for the association of the Merritt Cottage.

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Help Tell The Story

Are you related to these families? Would you be willing to share stories or photos associated with related events? If so, we would love to hear from you! Please contact the Cultural Resource Manager at Isle Royale National Park. Or write to:

Isle Royale National Park
800 East Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, Michigan 49931-1896


  1. Franks, Kathryn E. and Arnold R. Alanen, 1999. Historic Structures at Isle Royale National Park: Historic Contexts and Associated Property Types. Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Wisconsin-Madison, January 1999.

  2. Newland, Dave. 2003. Executive Summary of the Merritt Life Lease. Isle Royale National Park. Houghton, MI.